In order to assess the long-term safety of a geological disposal system for high-level radioactive waste (HLW), it is important to consider the impact of uplift and erosion, which cannot be precluded on a timescale in the order of several hundred thousand years for many locations in Japan. Geomorphic evolution, caused by uplift and erosion and coupled to climatic and sea-level changes, will impact the geological disposal system due to resulting spatial and temporal changes in the disposal environment. Degradation of HLW barrier performance will be particularly significant when the remnant repository structures near, and are eventually exposed at, the ground surface. In previous studies, fluvial erosion was identified as the key concern in most settings in Japan. Interpretation of the impact of the phenomena at relevant locations in Japan has led to development of a generic conceptual model which contains the features typical at middle reach of rivers. Here, therefore, we present a methodology for development of a generic conceptual model based on best current understanding of fluvial erosion in Japan, which identifies the simplifications and uncertainties involved and assesses their consequences in the context of repository performance.

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